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Volcano in Costa Rica
Stern Around the World in

Costa Rica

BSPA-UB 45: Sustainability Consulting in Costa Rica | Learn about sustainability and consulting with real-world projects.

Stern Around the World in Costa Rica

Learn about sustainability and consulting by working on projects, such as creating business and marketing plans for Costa Rican businesses in agricultural production, eco-tourism, and environmental education for youth.

This Fall 2023 semester course takes place in New York. Then between January 3rd and 11th, 2024, you will take an 8 to 9 day long class trip to Costa Rica and have the opportunity to consult these businesses to help further develop their impact. You will test your business hypothesis on the ground with local partners and experience how sustainability is essential to both Costa Rican culture and industry.

There is no application required! But attending or viewing an Info Session is required when enrolling in this course.

  • Enrollment is done through Albert for this course.
  • Enrollment is first-come, first-served, based on your registration time.
  • If the course fills up, there will be a Waitlist. Set up ‘Edit Swap’ function on Albert to ensure you’re not stuck on the waitlist
  • If you successfully enroll, you will be contacted via email with next steps. See additional details below.
  • This course is only open to NYU Stern students. 
  • Important Note: Seniors who plan to graduate in January - the final grade for this course will not be available until after the January trip

Course Overview

BSPA-UB 45: Sustainability Consulting in Costa Rica
3 credits | Tuesdays from 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Course: Full Semester | Travel: 8 to 9 days 
Instructor: Professor Rachel Kowal (

Some of the most forward-thinking businesses interested in taking care of the environment and society can be found in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. You will have the opportunity to work with small sustainability-focused organizations in Costa Rica that need consulting help to address their company's business challenges. Since agriculture and tourism are Costa Rica’s top sources of domestic revenue, you will work with tropical fruit, chocolate, coffee, and hotel companies, as well as other entities, to generate future sustainable growth and community development.

Pending the safety and feasibility of international travel, the course will include an 8 to 9-day January trip to Costa Rica, during which you and your group will test your hypothesis on the ground with local partners and become immersed in Costa Rican culture. The Costa Rican partner companies are equipped to work with you virtually over Zoom if travel cannot be completed as planned.  

This 3-credit course can count towards:

  • Sustainable Business concentration 
  • Global Business co-concentration
  • Social Entrepreneurship minor (joint with Wagner)
  • General Stern elective


This course is open to NYU Stern students who meet the following prerequisites:

  • Must be in good academic and judicial standing with Stern and NYU
  • Must be enrolled at Stern in New York City during the semester you take the course
  • Important Note: Seniors who plan to graduate in January - the final grade for this course will not be available until after the January trip
  • Attending or viewing an Info Session is required when enrolling in this course.

Program Timeline

Date Event/Deadline
Week of April 24th

During registration for Fall 2023, you will register yourself via NYU Albert. (Open enrollment with waitlist as long as space remains available). The SAW: Costa Rica Team will then email you regarding next steps, including information about the SAW: Costa Rica Stern Global Immersion Scholarship award process. All Stern undergraduate students who are registered for this course will be automatically evaluated for the need-based SAW: Costa Rica Stern Global Immersion Scholarship.

Attending or viewing an Info Session is required when enrolling in this course. Watch the recording here.

Early June You will be notified if you have received a SAW: Costa Rica Stern Global Immersion Scholarship - and if so, the amount. You will also receive an email with next steps - including information on confirming your spot by submitting the program contract along with a copy of your valid passport (see passport information below). 
Mid-June Deadline to submit contract with copy of your valid passport
Mid-July Fall NYU Bursar bills post  - will reflect program fee and SAW: Costa Rica Stern Global Immersion Scholarship award if awarded (see "Estimated Expenses" below.) 
Early August Fall NYU Bursar bills due 
September 5, 2023

The Costa Rica class begins in NYC

October 1, 2023 **Deadline to purchase flights and submit travel information to the Costa Rica team
Early December

In-class trip pre-departure session

January 3 - 10 or 11, 2024 Required Costa Rica trip

**You will arrange your own flights to and from Costa Rica. Please note the required program start and end times and plan your flights accordingly to account for customs and transportation to the hotel. You must plan to arrive into the Juan Santamaria International Airport (San Jose, Costa Rica) early enough in the day so that you can check in on time for the official start of the program at the group hotel. Late arrivals and early departures are not permitted. You will be expected to stay with the group until the official end of the program. 

Estimated Expenses

Please note: Although you will register for this 3-credit course as part of your Fall schedule, NYU tuition and registration fees do not cover the additional fees for the trip to Costa Rica.

Estimated Expenses
You are Responsible For: Estimated Expenses: Notes:
Housing & Program Fee $2,100

Does not include flight. Limited scholarships available (see below).

Round Trip Flight *$900

*Estimate. You will make your own flight arrangements.

Passport Renewal/Visa *$150 – 175

*Estimate. Your passport must be valid for six months after the trip concludes. Visas are not required for US Citizens.  

Vaccinations/Travel Medication *$50 – 200

*Estimate. Vaccinations are not required for US Citizens, though recommended by the CDC.

Personal Expenses *$100 – 200 *Estimate.

The Housing & Program Fee will be required of all participants (see scholarship info below). It will be added to your Fall 2023 Bursar bill, which we anticipate will be due in early August. Please check the NYU Bursar’s website for the Fall 2023 payment deadline.  Please note: the Housing & Program Fee fee is non-refundable unless the trip is canceled by NYU Stern.

  • Hotel near San Jose, Costa Rica (2 nights)
  • Hotel near Monteverde, Costa Rica (6 to 7 nights)
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner starting with dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 8 or 9
  • Local transportation
  • Group excursions

Need-based Travel Scholarships

All Stern undergraduate students who register for this course will be automatically evaluated for a Stern Global Immersion Scholarship. 

  • This need-based award is to help cover the additional travel cost of participating in this program. Awards granted to eligible students will cover up to the cost of the Housing & Program fee for the travel portion of the class. Following is the SAW: Costa Rica Housing & Program fee and (if awarded) the allocation for the air travel (Travel allocation) for Fall 2023:
    • Housing & Program Fee: Costa Rica: $2,100
    • Travel allocation (if awarded): Costa Rica: $800
           *You will arrange your own flights to and from Costa Rica. 
  • Students must have a current FAFSA or CSS Profile application on file with NYU to be considered for an award. Students will be notified if they will receive a Stern Global Immersion Scholarship - and if so, the amount - according to the schedule above. 
  • *Note: If you have already received a Global Immersion Scholarship for another SAW short-term program, you will still be automatically considered for a scholarship for this program as well. However funds are limited and second scholarships cannot be guaranteed. 

Passport and Visa Requirements for All Participants

Passports: You must have a passport valid for more than six months beyond the dates of the trip. More information on how to renew or obtain a U.S. passport can be found on the U.S. Department of State's website. If you are an international student please contact your Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All NYU students are welcome to contact the NYU Office of Global Services (OGS) for assistance as well.

Visas: U.S. passports valid for more than six months beyond the dates of travel do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please consult Costa Rica’s visa requirements. If you have questions, please contact the NYU Office of Global Services (OGS).

It is your responsibility to apply and receive the appropriate visas for your passport in a timely manner for the trip. Trip Program Fee refunds are not provided if you fail to secure your visa.